Whether you are thinking of or are just wondering how to run a successful online digital eCommerce business, a Membership Website comes into place. And as such, you’ve come to the right place to learn more about that and how to achieve it. So, follow our lead to learn the flexibility to work from your computer or phone and earn some income at the same time.
A Membership Website is one of the best ways to form a great web-based business. And then thereafter, make some money through your website subscribers. Sincerely speaking, we know you, too, have been afraid to monetize your website or blog without losing subscribers. You’re worried that if you do, you could drive them away and hugely reduce your website traffic.
Yes, of course; according to Neil Patel, Google says that it’s important if you put your website, and readers, first. But now you can put all your fears aside! The truth is that you can easily monetize your website in a user-friendly way. Ways that won’t send your subscribers running for the hills. That’s right; having your proverbial cake and eating it is possible, too.
There are many ways to cash in on good money-making opportunities online, as you also keep your users happy. Creating a membership website is one of the easiest ways to increase user engagement. By allowing visitors to become members, you encourage them to continue engaging with your brand in exchange for perks, access to exclusive content, discounts, etc.
What A Membership Website Entails In Digital Online Marketing Terms
To enumerate, a Membership Website is a gated part of an online business where only members who subscribe can access the content you’ve placed behind the gates. Your membership website can be paid, free, or a mix of both. In short, a “gate” is simply a barrier that helps you build your website using a plugin like the one offered by MemberPress through your website.
And once you’ve got that barrier in place, members can log in per their request. This allows them to access exclusive content, special offers, or even be part of a community of other members. Not forgetting, they can also interact directly with you. And when we talk about “content,” we mean various digital products, such as eBooks, webinars, online courses, and podcasts.
Rather than physical goods that require shipping. But that’s not to say that if your business offers physical goods, you can’t expand to the digital products side. For example, if you’re a photographer and you own your own studio and camera store, you could also offer digital products like webinars on how to shoot at night or even sell your photos in the picturesque bay.
Resource Reference: How WordPress Membership Plugins Work | 5 Top Samples
Plus, there is also content in the form of eBook Publishing that you can list on your website pages and posts for your members to download at a fee. Pretty simple, right? We think it is, and we can help you build it when you’re ready. But for now, we’ll go over the membership website’s foundational aspects. At the same time, giving you a general idea of how you go about things.
Such as convincing customers to pay for your content. Whereby if you find the best site monetization strategy for you, you’ll even draw in new subscribers! And with that in mind, there are many ways that you can work towards achieving this goal. Starting with the three essential basics – SEO, quality content, and website traffic analytics.
These are vital to ensure successful blog monetization and a strong subscriber base. And as an example, one way of making money through your content is by having a fully functional membership site. But, if you’re starting, you may be blankly staring at your screen, asking, “How is a membership website created, anyway?” Lucky for you, we’ve got steps to help you start.
How To Create A Membership Website And Monetize Your Content
So, just as we aforementioned, a membership website is a tool to earn money by selling membership content. Access to content is provided to registered members who make a one-time payment or recurring payments. Fortunately, you can use a CMS (Content Management System) like WordPress to create a membership website — it requires relatively low costs.
Your monetization capacity depends on your appetite. As a rule, two payment models are implemented: monthly and annually. Moreover, even 100 subscribers who pay $10 monthly will bring you $1,000 per month — there is no limit. Versatile analytical tools will help determine the audience’s perception of your site and product.
Another way to get feedback is to join forums to learn the positives and negatives of your content. On that note, there is no threshold for visitors. Your readiness to start a membership website depends on the metrics of your primary website. In the meantime, you should know that many membership websites typically can feature various types of resource content.
Like eBooks, E-courses, Infographics, Webinars, Podcasts, Virtual conferences, and Evaluations, that said, as a starter, you can first look at some MemberPress customers running successful online course membership websites. By all means, if you don’t have many visitors, the other ways to monetize a website are better, as we are going to illustrate below.
Below are a few more mentions you can borrow ideas from:
- Pilatesology is a membership site by Jack Coble and Alisa Wyatt that teaches the art of Pilates to all (beginners & pros).
- Online Art School is an online school by Kara Bullock that offers many courses for anyone interested in a creative journey.
- Member Site Academy is a business by Callie Willows and her partner, Mike Morrison, for training, coaching, and courses.
Generally, if you’re at the place where you’re looking for your membership site ideas, you should check out the blog post about 24 Ideas for a Killer, At-Home Membership Business to gather more useful and important details. The first step toward building a membership site is establishing a membership base. And you’ll do that by first finding a niche in your industry.
That is, by identifying a specific area where you can offer something specialized. Something that customers will be willing to pay for your content and services. Consider the photographer from the example above.
Here are a few deliverable questions:
- What does this photographer offer that no one else can?
- An e-course on shooting your portraits?
- A webinar on starting your own photography business?
- A membership of fellow photographers who look to this photographer for expertise in landscape photography and learn?
As soon as you’ve found your niche, offering free content on your site is a surefire way to start building a membership base.
Why It Is Recommended To Get Started With Free Website Blog Content
Well, for one, it’ll help you build a solid customer and membership base like nothing else. That’s because those who experience your content firsthand will be more open to paying for premium content in the future. Once you’ve built an engaging audience base, selling site memberships to those who want to learn from you will become much easier.
Additionally, if you mix content — free and paid — you can draw new members with your free content. The more members you draw, the greater your chance of securing buyers for your paid products. And as always, consider your audience. Struggling students might be unable to afford your content now; once they graduate and get a high-paying job.
However, they’ll easily remember how your content helped them. And they might be willing to become a member once they can pay the dues. The same can be said for entrepreneurs just starting and building their businesses (perhaps just like you!). Regardless, present yourself as a trusted, credible source with plenty of information. Your content should be of value.
Especially to your customers and illustrate your knowledge. Members will quickly leave your site if they discover they’re paying for content repeated, recycled, or easily accessed by a simple web search. You’ll be juggling a lot of things.
But be sure of these three things:
- demonstrate that you’re an expert in the field,
- show that you’re passionate about what you’re doing,
- convince the world that you want to share what you know.
You can check our blog for detailed information on what content to post from key sources. So, how do you monetize your membership website without losing subscribers? Of course, many would ask that question, so we’ll go straight to the answer;
1. Start With Search Engine Optimization
You might be wondering what SEO (Search Engine Optimization) has to do with monetization. If you want consumers to find your website in the first place, so they can help you make money, you need to exist in search engines like Google.
Effective SEO strategies can help you enhance your site’s visibility, for instance, by identifying keywords that generate high traffic but have little competition. And by so doing, you’ll have a greater chance of ranking higher in search results.
2. Try To Create Quality Website Content
It’s important to keep your new and repeat site visitors interested through profound content creation. The longer they stay on your site, the greater your chances of getting some cash-out. Therefore, engage your visitors by all means.
While, at the same time, ensuring that your content’s headlines are catchy and interesting. Furthermore, you should include images and videos whenever possible. And if you want them to find value in your site, you must show them it exists. When your content appeals to your readers, you can boost the likelihood of inbound links as well as reader sharing.
3. Social Media And PPC Advertising
On the one hand, most people share their emotions, ideas, events, and experiences via social media such as Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, etc. It’s no secret that celebrities and top brands earn profits using these services.
Take this information on board and convert your likes and shares into visitors. On the other hand, PPC Marketing is another critical method of driving traffic usually employed by online sellers. However, it is not free. Each time someone clicks on your advertisement, your budget drops by a certain amount. You’re buying your audience using an eye-catching ad.
To succeed in PPC advertising, you must monitor and calculate how much you spend and earn. For example, you can spend $100 for your PPC campaign and earn $120. However, if you get back less than you spent, you should set up your promotion again or abandon this method of attracting visitors.
4. Have A Mix Of Other Basic Strategies
Of course, there is no best or worst way to monetize your membership website. Every method has its benefits and drawbacks. Try every monetization method to determine which is most profitable for you. But, whatever you do, don’t forget the primary aim of every successful project: to help users and provide good content rather than focus only on money.
Consider things like comments. Leave a comment or opinion on a website, then add a link to your website. You will have better results if you comment on related forums/blogs. Various web sources (for example, Quora.com) aim to answer users’ questions. In most cases, you can answer and ask questions, but mention your website URL link when you do.
5. Pay Attention To Your Website Traffic
You need to quantify your website traffic before employing different strategies to monetize your website into your strategic plan. So as to gain an overall idea of what type of advertising might work best for monetization. For instance, one ad monetization method works better if your website attracts significant traffic or a specific demographic.
The same is true if, on the other hand, your site has lower traffic and attracts more generic demographics. Some programs can help you quantify and analyze your traffic. Generally speaking, Google Analytics, Quantcast, and other related networks are the best and most free options. Below are other monetization plans you can embrace on your membership website.
The Topmost Best Monetization Strategies To Help Keep Your Subscribers
Like any strategy involving money, utilizing multiple website monetization methods is better. You don’t need to put all your eggs in one basket. As such, you should try combining different monetization methods as the one we’ve mentioned above. Utilizing different monetization methods will greatly help you find out exactly what works best for your website.
So that you can make the most of your site earnings potential, that’s in addition to producing high-quality, relevant, and engaging content for your subscribers. In simple terms, don’t be afraid to test different money-making strategies to know the best and best fit for your business. However, don’t forget to remain relatable as you try to maintain your integrity.
And always deliver value so that your subscribers will stick around. Now that you’ve got the foundations for an effective membership site monetization, your next step is to apply monetization methods. And not just any type, but a method that won’t cost you the subscribers you’ve gained. Below are some of the other great monetization methods that you can consider:
1. Consider Google AdSense Ads
This is one of the most basic ways to make money on your website and the most popular and widely used PPC (Pay-Per-Click) Marketing ad strategy. Whereby Google AdSense Ads is a free advertising network that automatically generates relative ads.
In the form of context or images, particularly based on the content of your page. On a clear note, you’re paid when someone clicks on the ad. And you could be paid anywhere from $0.50 to $5.00 per click. Plus, if your content targets the highly-valued keywords advertisers bid on, this will earn you more money per click.
Well, leading from hundreds to thousands of dollars per month if you’re lucky. In reality, through Google AdSense Program, you won’t lose subscribers. Thus, this is an ideal monetization method worth having. It’s easy to integrate and can make you money from new subscribers. As well as, your traffic grows without irritating the subscribers you already have.
2. Sell Some Space For Adverts
This option for monetizing a site shows that creating content is not the only way to earn money on the Internet. A prerequisite for choosing an eCommerce website option is the availability of certain products/services to be sold. Mind you; your website metrics are less important because the goal is to sell a certain product/service rather than the ad space.
Therefore, your income is based on what you will sell. Visitors are necessary not to generate traffic and increase your rating but to sell products/services. To attract the right audience and convert it to sales, you will need to focus on marketing your project. You don’t need to reinvent the wheel; use existing but less complex business service solutions to get you started.
Find the most appropriate services to help you build an ecommerce website in one day without special knowledge.
Create websites like:
- Edible Blossoms
- Lobotz Premade Logos For Sale
- The House Of Whisky
- Adoboloco Website
- Blue Star Coffee Roasters
Other ads you can use on your site are CPM (Cost Per Thousand) and CPI (Cost Per Impression) Ads. And directly selling ad space can be particularly beneficial to websites that receive a lot of traffic. For example, 200,000 or more per month or that target specific demographics. You’re typically paid very little for each impression, so you might not make much.
It’s worth looking into, especially if you have low traffic. Just like AdSense, you won’t lose subscribers because your site visitors don’t have to do anything with these ads for you to be paid. You serve the ad to them. You’ll keep your subscribers as long as the placement of these ads doesn’t disrupt the UX.
3. Start Selling Digital Products
Do you remember how I introduced you to Easy Digital Downloads? Surprisingly, this is where you can make money by selling your digital products. You can make the most money on a per-sale basis with these products. What types of products/services can you sell? Music, video, eBooks, and apps are all great examples.
You can make whatever product you decide to sell exclusively available through your site, or you can make it available in other online stores, like Amazon, eBay, or, if it’s an app, mobile application stores. Of course, there can be a lot of hidden costs in creating these products, selling and marketing them. Therefore, using services that can help you is a good idea.
For instance, if your web monetization goals are via an app, which is very common nowadays, a company like Appnext can greatly help you boost your sales and generate more income. And the reason why you won’t lose subscribers is pretty simple. When you know who is visiting your website and what they want, you’ll be able to provide them with the products and tools.
More so, a collection of what will most appeal to them. As well as their high likeliness to buy. After all, not every sub is looking for something for free. Most want something of value and will pay for it if it’s marketed and presented well.
4. Consider Affiliate Marketing
There are thousands of companies and dozens of networks that offer free affiliate programs. With affiliate marketing, you receive a commission from an online retailer. By sending traffic to their site. Or even from the traffic you sent generating sales from your referral. This is an ideal way to promote some physical products you might mention on your site.
Adding affiliate links to relevant products mentioned in your content can make interested or curious users click these links. And potentially earning you some pay. A great example of this monetization method is the Amazon Associates Program, where you can register for free. There is a massive range of diverse products you can link to on Amazon.
Other great examples include Commission Junction, ShareASale, and much more. You won’t lose subscribers simply because you’ll have established yourself as someone your subscribers like and trust. While endorsing and promoting a product, you like and would recommend on your site. Forthwith, your email list will be able to resonate with your site visitors and subscribers.
And as a result, they will be more likely to click the link and potentially purchase. And by so doing, they’ll earn you a commission, as you also keep your subscribers happily interested. Though many visitors don’t guarantee a significant income, you should always seek to increase your traffic.
5. Accept Donations From Visitors
A small but strong and engaged audience is a prerequisite for this method. Simply ask your visitors to donate. If you are doing your job well and your audience is thankful for your work, you can collect a significant amount. The best-known example is Wikipedia, which gets money from donations. Try to make the process as easy as possible for your target audience.
In that case, you should opt for donation buttons or tools provided by PayPal, Stripe, Fundly, Qgiv, Razoo, and others. A landing page is also encouraged. Unfortunately, because a donation is voluntary, it is impossible to calculate in advance. For example, a website with a large audience might get less money than a website with a small but dedicated audience.
Describe why you need money (e.g., business development, charitable activities, miscellaneous CTAs, etc.) and ask your subscribers or visitors to donate. One of the most popular reasons is to support the project. For example, if you have a travel blog, your readers can support your efforts to travel and provide new, informative content.
The Best Practices For Great Membership Website Content (Pros & Cons)
Unfortunately, not every website owner can boast of huge traffic. As a rule, there are two main reasons for this failure. The first one is content. The second one deals with web promotion. Your content might be suitable for a particular audience. Assess future visitors and make the appropriate conclusions about the quality of your content.
Some information is more popular than others. Popular content includes interviews, research data, case studies, electronic books, checklists, how-to publications, product/movie/book reviews, opinion posts, guides, memes, videos, infographics, white papers, long-read guides, and blogs. The more saturated the content, the more website monetization to expect.
The best way to do this is to create a detailed questionnaire and interact with users. The questions may refer to appearance, readability, publication frequency, information relevancy, personal preferences, needs, and other data. Based on the answers, you can provide content your audience will appreciate. If you want to provide great content for your users;
You’ll need the following:
- Unique expertise or research, as well as a systemized analysis of content from other Internet sources;
- Brand-new, edgy content;
- The content you won’t find elsewhere on the web;
- Content that is beneficial to a reader.
If you try affiliate marketing, remember to create a certain type of article to earn a good income from your blog. The content you offer should be as accurate and relevant as possible. Significant events, current trends, and pressing problems will attract visitors. In addition, trendy topics generate traffic from search engines and social media very quickly.
Learn more about the types of search queries to watch out for in detail — this will help you find the best topics that are useful for the reader and profitable. Still, if you need more visitors to your membership website, try to attract them with a catchy headline. Suffice it to say, don’t forget to provide appropriate content that fits the potential readers’ expectations.
The Main Membership Website Pros:
- A WordPress option can lower startup costs
- Flexible payment packages for users
- Suitable for building a real business model
The Notable Membership Website Cons:
- Be prepared to deal with set-up and maintenance (or pay for services)
- Time expenses and cost increases
- Increased demand for catchy and exclusive content
Lastly, another point to consider relates to your competitors. Compare your content to theirs to ensure you have the most informative and well-organized content. As you monetize your website, the visual content representation is as important as the message. If you focus on textual information, break it up with attractive elements (videos, infographics, visuals, charts, etc.).
What we can say is that writing great content is a choice. You can choose to put in the time and work required to create great content and build a prosperous brand. Or you can take the easy path and write poor content – a path that ultimately will get you nowhere. Poorly written content will only result in a waste of time, energy, and resources.
In content creation, the path for content marketers is clear: you need great content on your blog or website to boost SEO rankings, gain traffic, and more leads. If you write original content, search engines will help your site get more exposure. For instance, Google has made it plain that they do not like it and will penalize sites with duplicate content.
Put another way; Google wants to reward high-quality sites that contain original content. So, not only does great content make a better website, but it also improves your site’s rankings. In the end, this can have a very big and positive impact on your online business. Whatever your reason for having a content website, whether for business or a hobby, you must do it right.
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